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  1. Ok, this is kind of a tricky question. I have a VHS tape from my childhood, and recently discovered a whole bunch of 80's TV goodness at the end of it. Only problem is, it plays as though the VCR is set to the wrong playback mode...the picture has no color, is very jumpy and the audio is slow and warbly. When you fast-forward through this part of the tape the picture has color and is relatively normal looking. Keep in mind, everything before this part plays great. I've tried the tape in several different VCR's with no success. Some haven't even played this part of the tape at all, opting for a blue screen instead.

    I'm pretty sure there is actual video information to be had here, but I don't have a VCR that can manually change the playback speed. Are there any VCR's out there that can do that?
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    This is why I keep really old VCRs on hand, from 1980 era.
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    Was this VHS tape recorded using serveral different modes, such as SLP & EP? Have you tried adjusting the tracking?
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  4. Originally Posted by lowellriggsiam View Post
    Was this VHS tape recorded using serveral different modes, such as SLP & EP? Have you tried adjusting the tracking?
    Yes, I think it's possible it was recorded in two different modes. Looking at the display of the VCR that's worked best... it plays the good part of the tape at SLP and the bad part at LP.

    Of course, it could also be possible that the entire tape was recorded in the same mode, and for whatever reason the VCR thinks one part of it was recorded in another.

    And yes, I've adjusted the tracking many times and it doesn't do a thing. The best way I can describe this problem is that the tape is literally being played back too slow.
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    Does the tape look damaged at the point where the speed changes? Ruggfled edges, or a color change in the tape itself? Does the time index change in an inconstant rate?
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  6. Originally Posted by lowellriggsiam View Post
    Does the tape look damaged at the point where the speed changes? Ruggfled edges, or a color change in the tape itself? Does the time index change in an inconstant rate?
    The tape has a some tracking problems and flashes to B&W a few times before the second part begins. Once the first part is over, there's blank static for about two seconds, and then a lot of noise and tracking once the second part of recorded material begins. During the transition to the second part, the timer stops and counts very slowly, but then starts counting normally.

    Whether it's damage or just a rough transition to other material on the tape, I'm not sure.
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    Do you continue to get a black screen if you play in slowmo? You might consider recording a few seconds where the problem starts, and see if that clears it up. I suspect the original recorder may have had misaligned heads, that would more noticable when SLP has been used.
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    Or if the tape was partially erased, as in near a magnetic field that kinda destroyed parts of it. I have also seen players that won't play slp or EP tapes..usually newer decks.
    Anything you want to keep should never be recorded at slow speeds.
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  9. Originally Posted by lowellriggsiam View Post
    Do you continue to get a black screen if you play in slowmo? You might consider recording a few seconds where the problem starts, and see if that clears it up. I suspect the original recorder may have had misaligned heads, that would more noticable when SLP has been used.
    I recorded over the bad section where the two parts transition and the speed problem still persists.

    Originally Posted by kimco52 View Post
    Or if the tape was partially erased, as in near a magnetic field that kinda destroyed parts of it. I have also seen players that won't play slp or EP tapes..usually newer decks.
    Anything you want to keep should never be recorded at slow speeds.
    My tapes were all stored together in the same garage for 15-20 years, and have been in another for the last five years or so. I'm not saying it's impossible that part of the tape were destroyed by a magnetic field, but it seems pretty unlikely. No other tape out of 50 or more has problems like this. And when I fast-forward while playing through this stuff, the quality looks great. I think I'm just lacking the proper VCR to play it back on.

    I've heard that some VHS Camcorders can manually adjust the playback speed. Should that be something I should look into?
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    This sounds like LP mode.
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    "I've heard that some VHS Camcorders can manually adjust the playback speed. Should that be something I should look into?" It's worth looking into. You might also try it out on a few old vcrs at local thrift shops, you might get lucky. The things about it going black and audio still running would also be consistant with PAL format, I have had a few of those.
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  12. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Thrift shops VCRs usually just eat tapes. Beware.
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